Haar Disciples off to winning start, Baldham gets first wins

Caribes batter Jimi Roura awaits a pitch from Ingolstadt in a Regionalliga game on Sunday. The Caribes won both games in Ingolstadt, 13-0 and 14-2, to remain undefeated in the new season. Photo: Douglas SuttonThe Haar Disciples finally got their 1. Bundesliga-South season underway on Saturday, winning a pair of extremely tight games at home against the Bad Homburg Hornets and in the process, showcased two of their new ballplaying imports, Dadynoel Lorenzo and Brian Fields. In the 2. Bundesliga-South, the Baldham Boars also notched up their first win. After their first fixture against Regensburg a week ago fell victim to the rain, Haar's baseballers won 7-6 and 5-4 under new head coach Keith Maxwell.

The first game was full of drama as the Hornets scored three runs in the 8th inning to go up 6-3 for what looked like a secure lead. But Haar came back in their half of the inning with three to tie the game at 6-6. After the guests were held scoreless in the top of the 9th, it turned out to be Haar's newcomer Lorenzo who performed the heroics. The 23-year-old Dominican whacked a double that drove in the game-winning run and the 7-6 walk-off win. Haar had only announced Lorenzo's arrival a few days before; the connection to him being that Disciples' veteran Mitch Stephan had played college baseball in the Unites States together with the Dominican.

The second game was equally tight, in a duel between the two clubs' American pitchers. Haar's pitcher Brian Fields - who joined Haar during the off-season, coming from the German baseball runner-up side Paderborn Untouchables - outlasted his compatriot Glynn Elliot. Fields went the full nine innings to rack up 9 strikeouts while giving up 4 runs (1 unearned) on 6 hits. Elliot was only slightly less effective, going eight innings while striking out 8 and giving up 5 runs (2 unearned) on 8 hits.

So, a good start for Haar in the new season as they wait to host the Heidenheim Heideköpfe on May 4th. Meanwhile the Baldham Boars pulled off something of a surprise on their home field, sweeping the previously-undefeated Neuenburg Atomics, 11-6 and 9-4. The Boars, returning to the 2nd division after four years, improved their won-lost record to 2-2, while the Atomics now have a 4-2 record. Comparing the relative strengths of the Boars and their local rivals, the Haar Disciples 2nd team, it is worth noting that a week earlier the Haar club was beaten twice by Neuenburg.

In the Regionalliga South-East, the Gauting Indians improved their season won-lost record to 4-2 after a pair of home wins against the Fürth Pirates, 4-3 and 11-0. Fürth appears headed for a rough season, with a 0-6 record so far after being defeated by the Herrenberg Wanderers and Munich Caribes by some lopsided scores. More interesting from a Munich-area baseball standpoint is that Gauting have been progressing at a higher level since their promotion from the Bayernliga. Their website also reports that the club is adding a US player, Thomas Sicking, a move which will add depth and experience to the Indians both at bat and in the field. So keep an eye on Gauting as a possible contender for the league title.

And on the subject of contenders, the Munich Caribes continued to roll - or in the case of the Ingolstadt Schanzer, to roll over - their opponents. The Munich club, playing away in Ingolstadt, posted 13-0 and 14-2 wins on Sunday to continue their so far perfect season (6-0) and sit atop of the Regionalliga's eight-team table. This coming Saturday (May 4th), a first test of how tough the Caribes team really are may be seen at the Oberwiesenfeld Ballpark in the Olympia Park (13:00 CET) when the Munich club takes on the Ellwangen Elks. The Elks are tied with Gauting for second place with a 4-2 record and finished second in the league last year, two spots higher than the Caribes. In their four games against each other last season, the Caribes and Elks had evenly split the wins and losses at 2-2, so on Saturday fans can expect some of the best baseball that the Regionalliga South-East will be offering this year.

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